My First John Deere Tractor: 1944- LA, Serial Number 8626

John Deere Tractor

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7111 Sun Valley Drive Louisville, Kentucky 40272

I have been a collector of gas engines for several years and have an assortment of engines, including a 1? HP John Deere Model E, but I have always wanted a John Deere tractor.

My wife and I went to our Homecoming at Hodgenville, Kentucky, where I met her cousin, Charlie Burba. After the meal was over, Charlie invited us over to his farm. He showed me his tobacco crop which was at least two or three acres, and also showed me some of his cattle. When we went back to the barn, I noticed he had several tractors, including a John Deere LA. It caught my eye, and I told Charlie that I would like to have it to restore. He said he might consider selling it because it was in bad shape and leaked oil on the tobacco plants when he cultivated.

About a month went by, and we were visiting Charlie and his wife again. Out of the 'clear blue yonder' Charlie told me what he wanted for the old John Deere. We made a deal, and the next day my brother and I made the 50-mile trip to pick up my John Deere tractor.

That was in August 1997. I brought the tractor home and started the restoration. I went to the Portland, Indiana, Engine Show and purchased a lot of the parts needed to start the job. I worked on it all winter in my spare time.

Thanks to the help of Ronnie Summers, who helped with the painting and also gave me some good advice, I was able to get it completed in early April 1998. I will have it at several shows this season, and hope to see all my John Deere friends there.

The pictures show the JD before and after the restoration.